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Burundi to Develop National Labour Migration Policy with IOM Support

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:15

Bujumbura – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is supporting the Government of Burundi to develop a gender-sensitive National Labour Migration Policy that aims to provide longer-term protection and good governance for migrant workers.  

The two-year project, supported by the IOM Development Fund (IDF) and implemented through the Ministry of Public Services, Labour and Employment, will include an analysis of the labour migration context in Burundi and data collection from major stakeholders, including migrant workers’ associations, national institutions, trade unions and employers’ associations.  

National authorities will also benefit from technical assistance on labour migration policy development and techniques for negotiating bilateral labour agreements. Combined, these actions will facilitate the development of a National Labour Migration Policy that will help authorities, particularly the Ministry of Labour, to have an improved understanding of the flows and dynamics of migrant workers.  

Such a policy, if made into law, will provide clear guidance on foreign labour admission policies, including the rights of migrant workers. It will also set up mechanisms for preventing or reducing irregular labour migration while strengthening international cooperation through bilateral labour agreements with selected countries, particularly with Gulf states. 

AJ Morgen, the head of IOM mission in Burundi, emphasized the importance of developing a well-defined framework for dignified labour migration and called upon stakeholders to continue their engagement in this domain.  

“At IOM, we believe that migration policies and strategies supported by relevant and comprehensive data will contribute to safer and more orderly migration,” said Morgen.  

The National Labour Migration Policy will complement the labour management legal frameworks currently being created by national authorities. This includes the recently developed strategic plan to implement the National Labour Policy (2018-2022) and the East African Community (EAC) Labour Migration Policy Framework. 

This project will align with the labour migration section of IOM’s Regional Strategy for East and Horn of Africa as well as its sub-regional strategy for the Great Lakes region. Further, it will enable the Burundian government to deliver one of the recommendations of the recently validated Comparative Study on the Free Movement of Workers in the EAC.  

The study suggests that all partner states formulate and adopt labour migration polices and laws which are open and transparent, based on best practices from the African Union framework and as recommended by the United Nations and the International Labour Organization.  

IOM has worked with the Government of Burundi on migration management services since 2007.  

For more information please contact Odette Bolly, at IOM Burundi, Tel: +257 75400221, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: BurundiThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Students Debate Resolutions to End Modern Slavery at Model UN Conference

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:11

Washington, DC – More than 600 middle and high school students, educators, volunteers and guests participated in the 15th Annual Spring Model UN Conference held at the US Department of State on Friday (26/04).  

The event hosted by Global Classrooms DC (GCDC), the flagship education programme of the UN Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA), marked the culmination of a year-long partnership between UNA-NCA and USA for IOM, the nonprofit partner of the International Organization for Migration.  

The students discussed a number of global issues, including the migration-related topic of modern slavery.  

“Model UN has taught me that I don’t need to only support the ‘marketable’ opinion to be able to solve a problem,” said Fatemeh Naghavinia, a ninth-grade student who acted as secretary-general of this year’s conference. “Creativity and open-mindedness serve as a segue to successful diplomacy.” 

As part of the GCDC education programme, USA for IOM collaborated with UNA-NCA to develop a curriculum unit specifically on migration. The curriculum incorporated creative films submitted to the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival, a joint initiative between IOM and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. 

“The students demonstrated an extraordinary understanding of migration and modern slavery,” said Maria Moreno, Head of Operations for USA for IOM. “I am so inspired by their commitment to tackle critical problems like sexual and labour exploitation.” 

IOM is the leading organization in the field of migration and has decades of experience working with partners on measures to combat modern slavery. As the largest provider of services to victims of human trafficking across the globe, IOM has assisted more than 100,000 trafficked persons since 1994. With this expertise, IOM staff served as guest speakers to expose students to the growing phenomenon and discussed how countries can work together to confront these complex crimes. 

The students used skills obtained through the curriculum to debate recent global migration crises and negotiate draft UN resolutions to address these challenges. With more people on the move today, this initiative is vital to promote dialogue and understanding among youth. 

For more information, please contact Liz Lizama at USA for IOM, Tel.+1 202 716 8820, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 17:07Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingUNDefault: Multimedia: 

Students discussed ending modern slavery at the 15th Annual Model UN Conference held 26 April at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Photo: IOM/Maria Moreno

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Accra, Montreal and Sao Paulo conclude the pilot phase of the Local Migration Governance Indicators

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 18:36

New York - On 24 April, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) hosted representatives from the cities of Accra, Montreal, and Sao Paulo, as well as key experts on local migration to mark the conclusion of the pilot phase of Local Migration Governance Indicators (Local MGI) at the IOM Office to the United Nations in New York.

The Local MGI was launched by IOM in July 2018, and is an adaptation at the local level of the IOM’s Migration Governance Indicators, which has helped 50 countries take stock of their migration governance structures since 2015. It is a set of 87 indicators helping local authorities to assess the local migration strategies or initiatives they have in place and identify good practices as well as areas with potential for further development. The aim of the exercise is to foster the dialogue on migration between national governments and local authorities and enable local authorities to learn from one another by discussing common challenges and identify potential solutions. The tool was piloted in three cities: Accra, Montreal and Sao Paulo and the results of the assessments conducted in the three pilot cities will soon be accessible online and available on IOM’s Migration Data Portal.

The meeting was an opportunity for representatives from the pilot cities to present their results and to discuss with experts how to improve the Local MGI methodology in order to make it accessible to a larger number of cities.

“The main strength of the Local MGI is the dialogue it can create, not only between local and national authorities, but also between cities often times experiencing similar challenges with regards to migration management” said David Martineau, migration policy officer in IOM NY.

 In coming months, IOM will work on refining the methodology to rolling it the assessment in a larger number of cities.

For more information, please contact David Martineau at IOM NY. Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 18:30Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

City representatives and experts discussing the conclusion of the pilot phase of the local Migration Governance Indicators (Local MGI). Photo: IOM/Rahma Soliman 2019


Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN humanitarian leaders highlight urgent need to sustain support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:58

Cox’s Bazar — At the end of a joint visit to Bangladesh, three top United Nations officials – the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) António Vitorino, and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi –  today reiterated their commitment to keep working toward safe and sustainable solutions for Rohingya refugees in Myanmar and noted the UN efforts there to help create conditions conducive to return.   

Until these conditions can be secured, they called on the international community to continue supporting the critical needs of 1.2 million people in south-eastern Bangladesh, mostly Rohingya refugees but also including generous host communities. 

After visiting the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and meeting with different refugee groups, they also highlighted the critical importance of supporting the Rohingya during their time in exile, in particular by expanding opportunities for learning and skills training. They noted that almost half of the 540,000 refugee children under the age of 12 are currently missing out on education altogether, while the remainder have access only to very limited schooling. Only a handful of teenage children are currently able to access any form of education or training. 

“This remains one of the world’s biggest refugee crises,” said Filippo Grandi.  “There are more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, most of whom fled Myanmar in 2017.  

“With the current crisis almost two years on we must give refugees the chance to learn, build skills and contribute to their communities while also preparing for reintegration when they can return to Myanmar,” said Grandi. “The future of the Rohingya refugees hangs in the balance.” 

“The Rohingya community is made up of so many young people who are in need of hope and opportunities if they are to build successful lives upon their return to Myanmar, António Vitorino added. 

The visit also came just ahead of the cyclone period, which is followed by the monsoon season. Both pose serious risks, including flooding, landslides and disease outbreaks, to thousands of already vulnerable women, men and children. 

The UN leaders discussed with the Government ways the international community can further support preparedness and response efforts. While in the camps, they also assessed the ongoing work that has been undertaken to address weather-related risks, including the strengthening of shelters, the improvement of infrastructure, and the training of volunteers. They recognized the critical role the refugees themselves are playing in these efforts. 

“We are concerned for the welfare of the Rohingya refugees who live in such vulnerable circumstances in Cox’s Bazar, as well as for host communities which also face significant challenges, particularly in the lead up to the monsoon season” said António Vitorino. 

They UN leaders also met with families who were going through the joint government and UNHCR biometric registration process, receiving documents that for many are a first and that confirm their identity in Bangladesh, as well as enhance their right to access services and protection. They also witnessed an innovative World Food Programme e-voucher system which gives refugees the ability to choose from an array of locally-resourced food staples and fresh vegetables in eight designated stores. 

In their meetings with refugees, the humanitarian leaders were also reminded of the harrowing circumstances refugees fled from and were encouraged by their resilience. 

“The first time I was in Cox’s Bazar in 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya had just fled across the border from the most appalling brutality imaginable,” said Mark Lowcock.  

“I met with children who had seen parents killed. Women who were just holding on told me horrendous stories of sexual violence they had survived.” 

“During this trip, we met with a remarkable group of male refugee role models as well as women volunteers who are supporting those who have survived this brutality and also working to prevent sexual and domestic violence in the camps. A wise, far-sighted approach would see a stronger focus on helping the refugees not just recover from the horrors they have experienced, but also to prepare for a dignified longer-term future,” said Lowcock. 

For more information: 

Leonard Doyle (IOM) in Geneva/Dhaka, +41 79 2857123 

Joseph Tripura (UNHCR) in Dhaka  +880 17 1309 0375 

Iffath Yeasmine (UNHCR) in Cox’s Bazar +880 1847326534 

Russell Geekie, (OCHA) in New York +1-917-331—0393 

Jens Laerke, (OCHA) in Geneva +41 (0)794729750 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 18:10Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRohingya CrisisUNDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General António Vitorino had a quiet moment with a Rohingya child at a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar on Friday. Credit: Will Swanson/2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Deep Concern as Thousands of Migrants Rounded Up in Yemen

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:58

Aden – Authorities have rounded up and arbitrarily detained over 2,000 irregular migrants, predominantly Ethiopian nationals, in Aden, Yemen, since Sunday, creating an acute humanitarian situation, to which aid organizations are rapidly responding. 

IOM is deeply concerned about the conditions in which the migrants are being held and is engaging with the authorities to ensure access to the detained migrants. 

“The rights of the people being detained should be respected, and alternatives must be considered,” said IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies Mohammed Abdiker. 

“We urge the local authorities to work with the humanitarian community to find safer alternatives to detention and to ensure a full spectrum of protection services are available for those detained, particularly the hundreds of children and approximately 60 women, who have been rounded up.” 

The detainees, including at least 400 children, were held at Al Mansoura Football Stadium in Aden city. Up to 1,000 people are also being detained at a military camp in neighbouring Lahj governorate, roughly a 35-minute drive from the city. 

On Thursday night, local youths opened the gates of Al Mansoura stadium, allowing the migrants to escape. The authorities began rounding up the escaped migrants and are now detaining an unknown number at a second football stadium in the city’s Sheik Usman area. IOM is seeking further information on the new location in order to respond to the needs of the detained migrants. 

Neither open-air stadium is designed to accommodate large numbers people. Among other concerns, holding thousands there will inevitably create a substantial sanitation problem, risking the spread of disease amongst detainees. 

IOM is coordinating the humanitarian community’s response and focusing on critical needs, providing basic health care, food and water, and sanitation. 

The government has indicated that the migrants detained in Aden city will be moved to the military camp in the coming days. The proposed sites are a few empty, damaged buildings unfit for human habitation. Clean water and safe sanitation are not available for the thousands that may be detained. 

Humanitarian actors are deeply concerned that the migrants will be moved to military camp before the site can be prepared to address the migrants’ most basic needs. 

While IOM and humanitarian partners are providing essential assistance in response to this situation, the provision of assistance or protection to vulnerable people should not be dictated without consideration for humanitarian principles. 

For more information, please contact: Olivia Headon in Aden, Tel: +967730552233, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 18:05Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance to Migrants Continues Amid Conflict in Tripoli

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:56

Tripoli - The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Voluntary Humanitarian Return assistance, with support from the European Union Trust Fund, continued to provide a safe option for migrants stranded in Libya wishing to return to their countries of origin despite clashes in Tripoli that have displaced at least 32,000 people. 

A charter flight left Tripoli’s Mitiga airport Wednesday night with 153 migrants aboard bound for Bamako, Mali and onward to The Gambia. On board were 52 Malian nationals, 12 Senegalese, 17 Guineans and 72 Gambians. The Malian government supported the transit of the charter through Bamako on its way to Gambia, Senegal, and Guinea Conakry. 

“I can’t put what I have endured here in words,” Mary said, holding her infant son in her arms. 

“I lost one of my children and my husband in a detention centre. They were both ill and help did not reach them on time. My three sons are the only family I have left now, and I’m taking them home.” 

Operations at the only functioning airport in the city have been affected by the escalation in violence in the capital, limiting the availability of flights out of the country. Despite security constraints, IOM continues to provide a direct and safe option to migrants wishing to return home from Libya on chartered and commercial flights, in close coordination with the Libyan authorities. 

Migrants like Mary who was bound for The Gambia are provided with pre-departure medical assistance by IOM health teams to ensure they were fit for the journey, food and non-food items, pre-departure counselling and travel documents provided by their embassies based in Tripoli. 

The Charter comes in the framework of the EU-IOM joint initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration implemented by IOM. 

In coordination with four IOM missions, in Mali, The Gambia, Guinea Conakry and Senegal, all returnees were provided with post arrival support that included further medical screenings, meals and non-food items and reception assistance at various transit points and at their final destinations. 

“Working together with the Libyan authorities and four IOM Missions, we managed to provide a safe and dignified return for stranded migrants,” says IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi. 

“The current situation in Tripoli poses several challenges, that is why it is important that all migrants wishing to return home are provided with a safe option to do so.” 

On its first stop in Bamako, Mali, the nationals of Mali and Guinea Conakry were received and provided with support. The Guinean nationals will be provided with transportation home. After their arrival in Banjul, Gambian and Senegalese nationals were received and provided with post-arrival assistance; Senegalese nationals will be transported to Dakar, where they will be received by IOM Senegal. 

“Over the coming weeks, we will be working in close coordination with government and local partners to facilitate the safe and dignified return of these migrants to their communities, and to ensure their economic and psychosocial reintegration,” said Fumiko Nagano, IOM Chief of Mission in The Gambia. 

The IOM charter was the seventh to depart from Libya in April, bringing the total number of returnees this year to 3,631. Return assistance was also provided to migrants on regular commercial flights to various destinations such as Algeria, Bangladesh and Sierra Leone. 

For more information please contact: Safa Msehli in IOM Libya, Tel: +216 22 241 842, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 18:00Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff in Tripoli helped Mary and 152 other migrants prepare for their flight Wednesday evening.  Photo: Mohamed Hmouzi/IOM Libya  

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Protecting Vulnerable Children and Youth in Ukraine from Trafficking

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:56

Kyiv - Hanna lived with her grandmother and younger sister on a very limited income. After finishing her first year of study at a vocational school, Hanna discovered that she had a serious eye disease, and decided to earn money for the treatment herself. Her hometown modeling school offered her a job in China, however after arrival Hanna was forced to work in a night club where she narrowly avoid being sexually exploited. 

She was rescued by law enforcement two months after she arrived in China, and received medical and psychosocial assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) upon her return to Ukraine in late 2018.  

Vulnerable youth like Hanna, 17, are a high-risk group for trafficking in human beings. IOM conducts regular surveys on trafficking awareness among general population and vulnerable groups as part of its prevention efforts in Ukraine. The latest one, conducted with funding from Global Affairs Canada, was presented in the capital Kyiv this week. 

“Most of the vulnerable children and youth in Ukraine are gradually becoming aware of the dangers of human trafficking,” Anh Nguyen, Acting Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine said on Wednesday.  

“Over three years, the share of those aware of at least one type of modern slavery has grown from 79 per cent to 85 per cent. However, influenced by their social environment, 66 per cent of vulnerable children and youth from 13 to 20 are still ready to accept at least one offer that may lead them to falling prey to traffickers.”  

Among those surveyed by IOM were at-risk orphans in foster families and state care, homeless youth and children in conflict with the law. It also included those displaced by conflict and the children of labour migrants. 

Among the respondents, 96 per cent of youth aged 14–20 detained in penitentiaries said they were prepared to accept at least one proposal that may lead to human trafficking, with high rates also uncovered among children registered in juvenile probation centres (86 per cent), and homeless children (81 per cent). Those proposals included agreeing to work without a proper contract in an unfamiliar region, accepting well-paid suspicious or illegal work, visiting a stranger’s home or entering their vehicle, or borrowing a large sum of money.  

Last year, IOM Ukraine identified and assisted 86 children who had experienced forced labour and sexual exploitation, forced begging and exploitation in criminal activities, as well as vulnerable children in difficult life circumstances who were at high risk of being trafficked. The number of children assisted has more than doubled since 2017.  

"Such increase in identification is a result of targeted efforts and extended capacity of governmental and non-governmental agencies to identify and assist these children. It is important to continue the systematic targeted work on trafficking prevention among vulnerable groups as well as all children and youth in Ukraine," said IOM’s Nguyen. 

* Name changed to protect privacy 

For additional information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko, IOM Ukraine, Email:, Tel: +38 044 568 5015, +38 067 447 97 92 

Learn more how UN Migration works on trafficking prevention among vulnerable children and youth in Ukraine from a video.  

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 17:55Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Counter-TraffickingMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM targets Ukrainian children and youth with a wide range of counter-trafficking initiatives, including awareness-raising public installations like The Invisible in Plain Sight exhibit (pictured) telling the real stories of trafficking survivors. Photo: IOM/Anna Markel  

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Carry Out Displacement Crisis Simulation Exercise at the Senegal-Mauritania Border

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:53

Bakel – More than 300 people took part in a fifth cross-border crisis simulation exercise organized Thursday by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the Government of Senegal in the eastern city of Bakel near the borders with Mauritania and Mali. 

The exercises prepare local populations and border management actors to respond to potential security crises by testing and strengthening collaboration and communication between border communities, administrative authorities, security forces in Senegal and Mauritania, as well as health and relief services. 

"Security is first and foremost an individual responsibility that extends to the community and then becomes a national interest,” said IOM Senegal Project Coordinator Massimo Ramanzin. “With this fifth exercise, IOM reiterates the important role of the community in safe and humane border management.” 

The first pilot project “Engagement des communautés frontalières dans la gestion et la sécurisation des frontières au Sénégal" (Engaging border communities in border security and management in Senegal), was launched in 2015 by the Government of Senegal and IOM. 

Four additional exercises were carried out in Matam (February 2016), Tambacounda (December 2017), and Saint-Louis (November 2016 and April 2018). 

This type of full-scale simulation exercise has attracted increasing interest from governments in West Africa, which has led to an increase in the activities aimed at involving of border communities in the response to security crises. 

At the end of the first simulation in Matam, a specific border emergency plan was drawn up jointly with the various actors and tested in the following simulations. The plan foresees a response to the coordinated crisis on three levels, by three crisis units: departmental (at the Prefecture level), regional (coordinated by the Governance) and central (interministerial). 

The latest crisis simulation was an opportunity to put into practice lessons learned and good practices from previous experiences, including increased community participation in crisis prevention and management. 

The crisis simulation is part of the second phase of the project "Engaging border communities in border security and management in Senegal", funded by the Government of the United States and implemented by IOM in collaboration with the Government of Senegal. 

For more information, please contact IOM Senegal: Massimo Ramanzin, Tel: +221 33 869 62 00, Email: or Mohamadou Ba, Tel: 00221 77 587 88 16, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 17:45Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM organized a mass displacement crisis simulation exercise to improve border communities and local authorities's response. IOM/Sylvain Cherkaoui. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Cyclone Idai Needs Persist in Mozambique and Zimbabwe; Japan Supports IOM

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:53

The destruction Cyclone Idai wrought to infrastructure, housing and health services continues to affect the daily lives of more than two million people in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  

Food, non-food items and shelter support are among the most significant needs, according to recent IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) location assessments conducted in the four affected provinces of Mozambique. 

“We were all home when the cyclone hit; suddenly the water inside our home was at waist height,” said Graca, a mother six in Beira, Mozambique.

“Our house was made of brick, but now only rubble is left. We need blankets, mosquito nets and support to restart. I just want a space and material to make a house for my family.” 

Thanks to the Government of Japan, a portion of these needs will be met over the next six months, through a financial contribution of USD 1.35 million for shelter and non-food items (NFI) for cyclone- affected families in Mozambique and related emergency assistance in Zimbabwe. 

“We offer our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the people who have suffered from Cyclone Idai,” said Katsuki Urashima, Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Mozambique.  

“Japan expresses sincere solidarity with the affected population to overcome this difficult time and wishes that this humanitarian aid will be helpful for the people to do so.” 

An estimated 1.85 million people in four province in Mozambique need humanitarian assistance. Nearly 240,000 homes are damaged or destroyed, and widespread areas experienced devastation. Seven weeks after Cyclone Idea struck, nearly 68,000 persons remain displaced in over 80 temporary accommodation sites.  

DTM assessments across the border in Zimbabwe show that nearly 69,000 people were displaced by the cyclone, primarily in Manicaland and Masvingo districts. The majority of IDPs there are living in host communities, while others are in collective centres or camp like settings. Food and shelter were identified as the main needs. 

IOM’s work in support of the Government of Mozambique is closely coordinated with the country’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC), the Shelter Cluster and UN and NGO partners. Support will continue to INGC temporary accommodation sites and facilitated relocation schemes through engagement on Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), while regular tracking of population movements and monitoring of the needs is conducted through the DTM. 

IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering said: “Cyclone Idai caused extensive damage to infrastructure and astounding human impact; continued humanitarian assistance is required. We greatly appreciate the Government of Japan’s attention to these needs.” 

In Zimbabwe, Japan’s contribution will assist the most vulnerable displaced families. 

“IOM Zimbabwe has taken on the coordination role of shelter, NFI and CCCM cluster; shelter and related needs remain high so the support from the Government of Japan is very timely,” said Takuya Ono, IOM’s Shelter Cluster Coordinator in Zimbabwe. 

IOM Mozambique: Katharina Schnoering, Email:, or Sandra Black, Tel: +258 852 162 278, Email:   

IOM Zimbabwe: For more information, please contact Varaidzo Mudombi, Tel: +26324270428, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 17:50Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueZimbabweThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced families like this one in Samora Machel site in Beira, Mozambique, will benefit from the Government of Japan's contribution to IOM.  Photo IOM/A.Nero

IOM Zimbabwe receiving consignment donated by CERF and MoFA Japan.  Photo: IOM

Cyclone Idai affected Sarafina receiving NFIs from IOM.  Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Leverages Community Policing to Address Trafficking in Persons in Iraq

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:52

Erbil – In the aftermath of the ISIL crisis, the Government of Iraq is dealing with a myriad of post-conflict challenges to rebuild the country, including creating economic opportunities, delivering social services, mending the social fabric in communities, and ensuring laws are enforced for the safety and security for all the country’s inhabitants, just to name a few. 

Conditions of conflict are fertile grounds for crimes related to trafficking in persons (TiP), including sexual exploitation and forced labor, the enslavement of women and girls by members of armed groups and the use of trafficked children as soldiers and street beggars. 

IOM Iraq was instrumental in supporting the Government of Iraq with the development of the national counter-trafficking law in 2012. Now that the conflict has subsided, it is critical that State structures are empowered to take on this growing transnational crime. An innovative approach that IOM recently introduced is mainstreaming of the community policing approach to investigate cases of TiP. 

IOM’s community policing programme aims to contribute to enhanced security and stability in Iraq by facilitating dialogue between communities and law enforcement actors through Community Policing Forums (CPF) in communities affected by conflict and displacement. The programme is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. 

With the experience of strengthening community policing across Iraq since 2015, IOM recognizes the benefits of a community engagement in identifying and preventing crimes and addressing security concerns, including human trafficking. 

IOM has supported the Government of Iraq, including the Kurdistan Regional Government, to establish Community Policing Forums (CPF), which are inclusive groups of diverse community members and community police officers where security-related concerns, including TiP, are discussed in a safe environment. 

IOM has launched a set of trainings and seminars for 60 Iraqi investigative judges and law enforcement officers in Erbil and Baghdad to train them on mainstreaming community policing principles into the investigation of TiP cases. 

The training in Erbil last week was attended by senior level community policing officers, police investigators, investigative judges and prosecutors, including the head of the Counter Trafficking Directorate and the head of Directorate for Combating Violence Against Women in Kurdistan Region of Iraq. To promote collaboration on counter-trafficking across borders, an IOM regional law enforcement expert on TiP was invited to share best practices from across the Middle East and North Africa region. 

“Our directorate was newly established in 2018, and this training was really essential, especially for our new colleagues,” said Lieutenant Colonel Dara Farouq, head of Counter Trafficking Directorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. “The training helped us to learn new methods of investigation, as we currently have a lot of cases related to foreign migrant workers that need these methods to be applied to rescue the victims of trafficking and bring the perpetrators to justice.” 

“Iraq poses a complex TiP problem as trafficking happens before and during crisis situations and across the borders,” explained Placido Silipigni, head of IOM Iraq’s Migration Management Unit. “We are pleased to see that the community policing approach is effective in bringing these crimes to the surface to ensure law enforcement and actors in the judiciary work collaboratively to respond to, and mitigate, these crimes.” 

Following the trainings, IOM will support a series of information-sharing sessions across the country that will include an investigative judge and a police officer, alongside an IOM representative, who will speak to 100 district police officers and investigative judges about TiP in Iraq and investigative approaches based on community policing principles. 

For more information please contact: Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 17:39Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Elimination of Malaria is Possible…. But only When Human Mobility is Considered

PBN News Germany - Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:25

Geneva – Human mobility is a major social determinant of health that can increase malaria-related illness and deaths for migrants and host communities, especially along migration corridors. With close to one in every seven individuals on the move globally, populations traveling from an area with high malaria burden can potentially re-introduce malaria into low-transmission or malaria-free areas. The combination of social and economic inequalities and discriminatory policies in all sectors, such as health, immigration, labor and social protection, often limit migrants’ access to appropriate malaria prevention, diagnostics, treatment and care services. This perpetuates the disease cycle among migrants and host communities.

In 2017, malaria was one of the leading causes of death due to communicable disease worldwide; there were an estimated 219 million new cases and 435,000 deaths. It is key to understand migrant mobility patterns and associated malaria risk factors to improve migration outcomes, and reduce vulnerability in migrants’ living, working and transit conditions, which increase their likelihood of contracting malaria.

Malaria can only be eliminated when evidence-based operational approaches have been identified to reach migrant populations, improve vector control and ensure migrants' access to malaria services, while promoting surveillance, referrals and treatment between national health systems.

Migrants urgently need to be included in global, national and local prevention and control strategies to support the elimination of malaria, following the spirit of Sustainable Development targets that aim for Universal Health Coverage, and in line with the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and Resolution 70.15 of the World Health Assembly on Promoting the health of refugees and migrants (2017).

IOM currently supports malaria programming across many countries, often through the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In Yemen, Thailand and Somalia, IOM has implemented multi-pronged evidence-based public health strategies, including interventions around vector control, distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLIN) and behavior change communication campaigns to raise awareness around prevention and encourage treatment seeking behaviors, including drug compliance.

In Paraguay, a country now certified by WHO as free of Malaria (2018), IOM supported the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in strengthening the National Strategy for the Prevention of the Reintroduction of Malaria, placing an emphasis on disease prevention, identification of potential cases, accurate diagnosis, treatment as well as the empowerment of resources and skills in the 18 health regions of the country.  

The elimination of malaria will require a universal approach of strengthening community responses that understand the determinants of migrants’ health and build on sustainable and mobility competent health systems that address the many challenges of malaria control in an increasingly interconnected world.

Read stories about IOM’s work with malaria-affected migrant communities here.

For more information please contact IOM HQ:

Carlos Van der Laat, Tel: +41227179459, Email: 

Language English Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 11:12Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Response to Malaria should benefit ALL, including migrants. Photo: IOM

Elimination of Malaria is only possible when human mobility is considered. / Elimination of malaria requires understanding of human mobility.  Photo: IOM

Mosquitos know no borders!  Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Appeals for Funding to Continue Lifesaving Assistance to Migrants, Displaced Population

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/23/2019 - 15:28

Tripoli -  Nearly three weeks of fighting in the Libyan capital has displaced close to 35,000 people, claimed over 200 lives, and injured more than 1,000. Further insecurity, continued displacements and large-scale humanitarian and protection needs are expected as the conflict continues to intensify. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has provided emergency assistance to all affected populations since hostilities began but funding shortfalls are now affecting the Organization’s ability to meet the critical needs of both migrants and the local families displaced by the fighting. 

"Families are fleeing their homes as fighting in southern Tripoli rages,” Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission said Tuesday. “With thousands of people running for safety every day, and more than 3,000 detained migrants who remain at high risk, immediate action is needed to provide crucial support to vulnerable civilians in Tripoli."  

IOM is appealing to the international community today for USD 4.3 million to allow for the delivery of multi-sectoral lifesaving assistance to individuals affected by the on-going conflict for the next three months. The interventions will target over 38,000 migrants and persons displaced as a direct consequence to the armed clashes.  

IOM’s request comes as part of a more comprehensive inter-agency appeal. All civilians in Tripoli and especially detained migrants, among them children and women, are at risk. 

IOM has provided non-food Items (NFIs), emergency food for detained migrants, primary health care, support for voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) and improving living conditions of detained migrants at DCIM detention centers in close coordination with humanitarian actors to ensure an effective and efficient delivery of assistance. IOM also continues to advocate for the closure of migrant detention centres. 

The ability of the IOM and its humanitarian partners to deliver assistance has been greatly enhanced by use of the Organization’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) which provides daily updates about the number and location of internally displaced people and their specific needs. 

For further information please contact IOM Libya: Safa Msehli, Email: Tel: +216 22 241 842  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is appealing for international support for its efforts to deliver assistance to migrants and displaced persons affected by the ongoing hostilities in Tripoli. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mozambique: Over 600 Cyclone Idai Displaced People Return to their Areas of Origin

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/23/2019 - 12:10

Guara Guara, Mozambique – Over 600 people displaced by Cyclone Idai returned to their home town over the weekend for the first time since the tragedy five weeks ago in a movement organized by the Government of Mozambique with the support of IOM and its humanitarian partners.  

Click here to watch a video on the Guara Guara movement.  

“When the cyclone hit, I was out fishing. The water was too high for me to return home to our house in the city of Buzi. The area was full of water, well over our heads,” said Franki, who was among a group of 100 families who traveled to Buzi district 145km southwest of Beira on Saturday. “I was rescued by helicopter that brought me here to Beira. I am very anxious to be back in Buzi to look for my wife and daughters, to see if they are alive.”  

A further 125 families travelled on Sunday to the same temporary accommodation site in Guara Guara, where all the families will remain until the reconstruction of their houses can begin. Led by the Government of Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC), IOM supported transportation logistics and is providing site management support at Guara Guara. The movement received support from Shelter Cluster and Protection Cluster partners, UN agencies and local NGOs. 

Sarah, her baby Willinesio and husband also made the four-hour trip to Guara Guara.  

“The cyclone was very bad. Water entered my house; the roof collapsed, and walls fell.  We climbed and stayed on top of a tree. We did not have water to drink or food to eat. The rain fell night and day. I was trying to breastfeed but stopped producing because I was not eating,” remembered Sarah. “We were very scared. A helicopter picked us up after seven days. We were brought to Beira; it is my first time here. Beira is a nice city, but we are suffering. We are so happy to go to Guara Guara. At home in Buzi we can provide for ourselves.” 

Katharina Schnoering, IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission said, "IOM is pleased to support the Government of Mozambique in their efforts to help displaced families return to their areas of origin in safety and dignity, in the recovery from Cyclone Idai.” She continued, “Thousands of families are still displaced, and after losing everything in the Cyclone, they need comprehensive humanitarian support to return home and restart their lives. The needs are extensive; a collective and concerted recovery effort from partners is needed.” 

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams in cooperation with Mozambique’s INGC and the Ministry of Health recently conducted a return intention survey in Beira District, interviewing over 500 heads of household at 18 displacement sites.    

According to survey responses, the homes of nearly two-thirds of displaced households residing in Beira were completely destroyed, while others were severely or partially damaged. Just over half of the displaced households want to go back to their place of origin, and more than one third intend to go to a different place. Among the households indicating a desire to return to their places of origin, nearly half intend to return within a week, and a majority of others intend to return within the month. 

The latest United Nations figures show that more than 1.85 million people continue to be in need in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai.  

According to the latest DTM needs assessment in the four affected provinces (Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambesia), the population of the 79 sites accommodating displaced families is nearly 68,000 individuals.  

Click here to read a story about IOM’s support for the temporary accommodation site Samora Machel in Beira.  

Link to Return Intention Survey  

Link to recent Site assessments: Tropical Cyclone Idai Site Assessments, Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia (18 April 2019) 

DTM documents on Mozambique are available at: 

For further information please contact IOM Mozambique: Katharina Schnoering, Email:, or Sandra Black, Tel: +258 852 162 278, Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 11:58Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Busloads of Buzi residents were delighted to be heading back to their home town over the weekend. Photo: IOM/Sandra Black

Busloads of Buzi residents were delighted to be heading back to their home town over the weekend. Photo: IOM/Sandra Black

Cyclone Idai Response: Return to Buzi

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Shielding the Vulnerable from Violence, IOM Assists 57 Malawians from South Africa

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:58

Lilongwe – The terror and fear were real, the damage devastating—the response swift and effective.  Over three days last week, South Africa-based staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Governments of Malawi and South Africa, assisted 57 Malawian nationals with voluntary return to their homes, following an outbreak of violence in the Durban area of KwaZulu-Natal. 

Support for these vulnerable migrants was provided under a project funded by the European Union (EU) called “Pilot Action on Voluntary Return and Sustainable Community-Based Reintegration.”  According to press reports and several human rights NGOs, migrants of other nationalities—notably Congolese, Burundians and Tanzanians—also were targeted by xenophobic mobs, suffering injury, theft and damage to their property. 

“My house was broken into, and I was beaten, and robbed of my belongings”, said Martin to the Malawian media upon arriving at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe. 

Durban’s violence led to the displacement of about 300 Malawian nationals. Of those, 105 Malawians expressed willingness to voluntarily return to Malawi. Later, after noting the violence had receded, about half of those decided to return to their homes in Durban.  

“This support extends our global commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. The situation in Durban exposed migrants to violence, and we, as the UN Migration Agency, took the initiative to provide an option for those who no longer felt safe, and thus wished to voluntarily return back to Malawi,” said Lily Sanya, IOM Chief of Mission in South Africa.  

While still in South Africa, returning migrants were provided with counselling to help them make informed decisions about their return, also assistance in securing travel documents in collaboration with their respective Consulates and Embassies in South Africa. IOM also assisted in the booking and payment of air tickets and offered transit assistance within South Africato returnees living outside Johannesburg. 

IOM assisted the returnees in batches, with the first group of 19 migrants (18 males, one female) leaving just over a week ago (8 April), the second group of 22 male and one female, 22 males departing two days later and a final group of 15 males leaving Friday, 12 April. All three groups were received by senior government officials and IOM in Malawi.  

“IOM condemns the actions of the criminal elements in the community and urge the migrants in the community to respect the laws of the country. IOM is actively engaged with the Government of South Africa and Malawi to facilitate the safe, orderly and voluntary return of the migrants affected by the violence to their home country” said Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Head of Office in Malawi. 

Kennedy Nkhoma, Chief Director for the Ministry of Homeland Security, added that “the Malawi Government is saddened by the violence that occurred in Durban, and is fully engaged with its counterpart, South Africa, to support the nationals that have been affected by the violence. We are very grateful to the IOM and the EU Delegation to Malawi for assisting the affected nationals.” 

The issue of violence against foreign nationals in South Africa has engaged stakeholders including the diplomatic community, business and religious groups, community leaders, and foreign nationals themselves.  

“We continue to strive for durable solutions that ensure the peaceful coexistence of our communities,” said Thenjiwe Mtintso the South African High Commissioner to Malawi. “Many Malawian nationals are visitors to—and are living in South Africa--and many more are attracted to pursuing prosperity in our country.” 

Added EU Ambassador Sandra Paesen: “The EU Delegation in Malawi is a key partner of voluntary return and reintegration assistance to migrants and deplores the breach of physical integrity suffered by migrants in South Africa. The Head of EU Delegation in Malawi encourages the Government to pursue this objective in line with both national and international best practices.” 

IOM, in collaboration with the Government of Malawi, has assisted a total of 231 Malawian nationals with voluntary return from South Africa, under the Pilot Action.  

The Mayor of Durban and representatives from the Malawian High Commissioner in South Africa encouraged the community members to live together in peace and harmony and use the existing structures to address issues in the community instead of taking the law into their hands. The community indicated that they were ready to receive the Malawians back into the community. 

For more information, please contact: 

Jacqueline Mpeni, Communication Officer, IOM Malawi Office, Tel: +265 99 180 6444, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 15:41Image: Region-Country: MalawiThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Last group of Malawians arrive in Lilongwe on 12 April 2019. 

Last group of Malawians arrive in Lilongwe on 12 April 2019. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Needs of Affected Population Remain High One Month After Cyclone Idai

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:07

Beira – One month after Cyclone Idai made landfall through Mozambique and neighbouring countries, despite the concerted efforts of humanitarian organizations, many families remain in need, and without assistance they lack the resources to repair and rebuild their homes. Latest figures indicate that more than 1.8 million people are in need, and nearly 240,000 houses were affected, half of those partially destroyed, and the other half totally destroyed.

The sun is shining in Beira, making it hard to imagine the sustained 180–220km per hour winds and intense rain that pummelled the area one month ago, but a drive through the city reveals extensive damage to homes and infrastructure – with trees still leaning into buildings, dents in industrial storage drums, and damage to roadways, especially in seaside areas. The city hosts 17 of the 59 temporary accommodation sites located across the four affected districts, which shelter over 71,000 people (nearly 16,000 households), as identified by IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix. 

IOM is supporting the Government of Mozambique, as the co-lead of the Shelter Cluster. IOM is coordinating with more than 20 partners for the storing, handling, transportation and distribution of shelter kits, plastic sheeting as well as non-food item (NFI) kits, with the support of the Logistics Cluster, Beira Airport and Disaster Management Agency in order to improve conditions in homes, schools and health centres.

Plastic sheeting, funded by USAID, was distributed yesterday to an orphanage in Beira to support mending the roof. “The children were scared and surprised by the cyclone; they were wet but okay. They are resilient. Half of the roof of one of our buildings is gone, several roof panels from the children’s dormitories blew off, and over 100 trees that we had planted fell,” said Father Francisco, who runs the orphanage, managed by Padres Somascos. “The plastic sheeting will be a good help. This plastic sheeting is provisional, but in this emergency, it helps us out a lot.”

With implementing partners supporting the shelter response in the four affected provinces with more than 25 locations, IOM has via its implementing partners provided shelter support to more than 21,000 households and has distributed more than 25,000 tarpaulins and 10,000 NFI kits (such as kitchen sets, blankets, solar lanterns).

Temporary accommodation sites have been set up, but are seen as a measure of last resort, when it is not yet possible for families to return to their homes. Where necessary IOM is supporting the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) in setting up new sites to bring internally displaced persons (IDPs) out of schools into new sites. In order to improve sites, IOM and humanitarian partners have in the past week installed additional latrines, showers, and set up child friendly spaces and communal shade and kitchen spaces.

IOM is working together with the Government social services to establish protection centres in four temporary accommodation sites in Beira. IOM is supporting the Government in providing training for local staff and raising awareness about available referral pathways for vulnerable cases, such as victims of gender-based violence.

IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa, Charles Kwenin and IOM Director of Emergency Operations, Mohammed Abdiker both recently came to Beira to review challenges and progress of the Cyclone Idai response effort. They each visited accommodation centres and affected communities and met humanitarian partners.

“The wide spread destruction caused by Cyclone Idai is apparent across numerous communities and in stories of those affected,” said Kwenin. “The humanitarian response is extensive, but even more comprehensive support is needed for families to restart their lives in dignity.”

For further information please contact IOM Mozambique: Katharina Schnoering, Email:, or Sandra Black, Tel: +258 852 162 278, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Baby Ernesto was born the day before the cyclone; his family’s home was destroyed. They are now living in Samora Machel site. Photo: Amanda Nero 

Cholera awareness performance takes place in communal space at Samora Machel site. Photo: Amanda Nero 


Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

10,000 People Separated by Conflict Reunited with Their Families in the UK

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:01

London – Ten thousand people separated by conflict and persecution have been reunited with their families in the United Kingdom under a British Red Cross (BRC) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) family reunification programme.

Since 2011, when the joint BRC-IOM The Family Reunion Travel Assistance Programme began, 90 per cent of the arrivals have been women and children joining husbands and fathers in the UK. The Programme helps to support refugees who are eligible to be reunited with their close family but cannot afford the costs of travel.

Most who were reunited came from Syria or Sudan, followed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
“Ten thousand people who are fathers, mothers, sons or daughters are once again together, often after years of separation and hardship,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM Chief of Mission in the United Kingdom. “IOM is proud to be a part of the family reunification process; reaching 10,000 people reunited here in the UK is a significant achievement.” 

IOM is aware that more and more people are seeking to access their right to reunite with family each year, according to Pardeshi. 

“While I am heartened to see programmes like the joint IOM-BRC family reunification programme here in the UK, more must be done. This affects families around the world, and so countries should look at possibilities to bridge the gap between current legislation and the significant needs that exist,” she continued.

As it stands, the programme provides one of the few safe routes for families who have been torn apart by conflict and persecution to be together again. For those eligible, the effort can potentially keep people from taking dangerous journeys – such as by sea across the Mediterranean – to join loved ones. According to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, six people died daily in 2018 attempting the journey. So far this year, the casualty rate is approximately three people per day.

For Syrians, like ‘Khaled’, the danger of the journey was the reason he chose to travel alone, leaving a three-year-old son, Ali, in Lebanon with his grandmother.

“There were 55 of us on a boat that only had room for 15,” Khaled recalled. “I sat next to 70-year-old woman who had a two-month-old baby in her arms.”

He continued: “Then the boat sank. I swam for five hours before I saw the lights of the rescue boat. If my son was there, I’m sure he would have died, I was so glad I hadn’t brought him with me. I thought of the lady and the baby and felt helpless.”

Eventually Khaled reached the UK, where he was granted refugee status. He contacted the British Red Cross, which was able to bring his son to the UK under the joint BRC-IOM Family Reunion programme.

“I felt huge happiness when I saw Ali at the airport. It is something I will remember forever. I said: ‘I want to kiss you’. He said: ‘Daddy, I’m scared’.

“I told him ‘don’t be scared, you are safe here’. I held him in my arms and kissed him.”

While reuniting 10,000 people with their loved ones is a positive milestone for us, the costs, complexity and current rules make this pathway to protection out of reach for so many families – families who have already been apart for too long, separated by the most terrible circumstances,” said Alex Fraser, Director of Refugee Support and Restoring Family Links at the British Red Cross.

“Being apart like this is incredible traumatising for people who are already dealing with the effects of war and conflict. These families belong together, which is why we are calling on the government to widen the criteria of those who can apply for family reunion,” he continued.

Being able to afford travel is not the refugees’ only obstacle. The Red Cross and IOM partners see many more families who have been separated due to conflict or persecution but who cannot be together due to current legislation. This includes young refugees who arrive in the UK alone and are not eligible to sponsor parents to join them.

“Under current rules, young refugees who arrive in the UK alone are not allowed to bring their parents to join them. Every day that these children are separated from their parents is a day they will not get back,” Fraser explained.

To support the British Red Cross to reunite more refugees with their loved ones, donate to the charity’s Global Refugee Fund. To support the International Organization for Migration to continue their work in the UK with migrants and refugees, please donate here.

For more information please contact:
Abby Dwommoh, IOM UK, Tel: 44 (0)7873301193, Email:
British Red Cross, Tel: +44 (0) 2078777461, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 15:55Image: Region-Country: United KingdomThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Khaled is reunited with his son at the airport under the IOM-British Red Cross Family Reunification programme. Photo: British Red Cross 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM and the European Union Helping Thousands of Vulnerable Migrants to Get Home from Turkey

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 09:52

Ankara – As the world’s largest migrant and refugee-hosting country, Turkey hosts over four million migrants, seeking a different life from the instability, uncertainty and poverty they have left behind. Many struggle to integrate due to legal, financial, and language barriers, or lack of support. There comes a time when they realise they cannot continue to stay in Turkey and that going home is the best option.

Today (16/04), IOM Turkey and the EU Delegation in partnership with the Government of Turkey, launched a new phase of a project that provides assistance to migrants living in Turkey who opt to return to their country of origin. The Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) of Irregular Migrants in Turkey project helps migrants get home and settled in a safe and dignified way.

This was true for Zarghona Balkhi and her young daughter Raihan who IOM helped return from Turkey to Afghanistan. After a two-week ordeal organized by smugglers crossing Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Turkey, they arrived in Istanbul with Zarghona’s son (Raihan’s older brother) who later disappeared just weeks later. “I tried to find work here but without speaking Turkish and not having an education, it is too difficult for me. My son was my only livelihood and without him it is impossible to stay,” said Zarghona. With IOM assistance, Zarghona and Raihan returned to their home city of Mazar-i-Sharif and were reunited with their family.

“Safe options for migrants to return home are crucial, without the stigma of deportation. AVRR assistance brings a complementary option for stranded or vulnerable migrants to return home in dignity and safety with the opportunity to reintegrate sustainably in their home communities,” says Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey’s Chief of Mission.

Through the programme, migrants can make an informed decision and take ownership of the voluntary return process. In addition, through IOM’s vast network of offices worldwide, returnees can receive tailored support to overcome challenges relating to their reintegration or address specific vulnerabilities that they face.

The new phase of the project will be implemented together with the Turkish Ministry of Interior, the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), and the Central Financing and Contracting Unit (CFCU) and will aim to assist a minimum of 3,500 migrants to be provided with assistance, with approximately 20 per cent of the most vulnerable to be provided with reintegration support.

IOM will also implement a series of capacity-building activities and study visits, with to support DGMM’s efforts to strengthen the national AVRR mechanism in line with national and international standards.

IOM has a long history and extensive experience implementing AVRR programmes since 1979, running projects in all regions of the world. In 2015, IOM assisted 69,540 migrants to return (the highest level for the past 15 years) from 97 host/transit countries to 156 countries of origin.

In Turkey specifically, IOM has helped 8,098 stranded migrants with assisted voluntary return and 438 with reintegration assistance from 2009–2018. Working alongside government partners, IOM AVRR programming is guided by the principles of voluntariness, migrant-centred response, safety, sustainability of reintegration, confidentiality, and evidence-informed programming.

Learn more here.

For more information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 533 698 7285, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 15:50Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Zarghona and her daughter took shelter in this small room behind a car wash stand in Istanbul where two Afghan friends were working. Photo: IOM/Nadine Al Lahham 

Zarghona and her daughter look out the window from their temporary shelter in Istanbul. Photo: IOM/Nadine Al Lahham  

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Japan Supports Health Care in Yemen through USD 2.5 Million Contribution to IOM

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 09:49

Sana’a – With more than 3.6 million people displaced, a crumbling economy and an overstretched health care system, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen continues to get worse. To support communities affected by the conflict, the Government of Japan has contributed USD 2,500,000 to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to reach over 100,000 people through emergency health services.

As the conflict enters its fifth year, just over 51 per cent of health facilities in Yemen are fully functional and approximately 19.7 million people are in need of health care.

Even during peacetime, most public health facilities were strained. Today, lack of financial resources, doctors, medicine and medical equipment has caused further deterioration and the increased number of people seeking medical assistance has overwhelmed medical facilities.

With Japan’s contribution, IOM will ensure lifesaving and basic health services in two hospitals and four health care centres across five governorates: Al Mahwit, Sa’ada, Hajjah, Taizz and Shabwah. Through this project, IOM will improve access to a full package of primary health services, as well as referrals to emergency secondary and tertiary level care, for the most vulnerable communities in remote locations.

“We are sincerely concerned about the continuous deterioration of the health situation in Yemen due to the prolonged conflict,” said a representative from the Embassy of Japan to Yemen. “This assistance to IOM comes to alleviate Yemeni people’s suffering in the current difficult situation, as part of a new package of humanitarian and stabilization efforts of Japan to the Yemeni people, amounting to approximately USD 32.8 million.”

“This contribution from the Government of Japan is coming at a vital time for the people of Yemen, as they are facing increased numbers of cholera cases,” said David Derthick, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission.

“The country’s health care system is almost at breaking point, while health needs continue to grow. As humanitarians, it is our duty to alleviate this immense suffering to whatever extent possible. These funds will support our health assistance in some of the hardest to reach areas in Yemen,” he added.

The Government of Japan and IOM have a long history of partnership in responding to humanitarian crises around the world. In 2016, IOM implemented a large-scale Government of Japan funded project centred on providing humanitarian assistance to displaced and conflict-affected Yemenis in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health care.

IOM provides health care to people in Yemen through mobile responses and by supporting public health facilities across several governorates. In 2018, the Organization conducted 688,279 medical consultations for displaced people, conflict-affected communities and migrants.

For more information, please contact IOM Yemen:

Saba Malme in Sana’a, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email:

Olivia Headon in Sana’a, Tel: + 967 730 552 233, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 15:45Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM reaches displaced and vulnerable populations in Yemen with lifesaving health care. Photo: IOM  

One of the IOM nurses providing health care to migrants in Sana’a city. Photo: IOM 

IOM provides a medical consultation for a displaced woman in Amran governorate, Yemen. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM launches appeal for USD 3.15 Million to assist Malawi victims of Cyclone Idai

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 14:27

Geneva—The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is asking international humanitarian donors for USD 3.15 million to help the people of Malawi impacted by Cyclone Idai last month. The appeal is to assist IOM teams in Malawi to reach an estimated 110,110 targeted individuals through the end of September 2019. 

In early March, a severe weather system formed off the eastern coast of Mozambique and struck Malawi with heavy rain and strong winds. The system further intensified into Cyclone Idai and made landfall in Malawi on 14-15 March, which led to severe flooding across Malawi’s southern districts. 

According to the Government of Malawi’s figures, more than 868,900 people have been affected, including more than 86,980 displaced, with 60 deaths and 672 injuries recorded. In total, fifteen districts in southern Malawi have been impacted.  

IOM is appealing for USD 1.65 Million for Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI), USD 750,000 for Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and USD 750,000 for teams from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).  

“IOM is appealing for funding support that it aims to use in providing shelter support for the most vulnerable affected populations using the build back better (BBB) model as a resilience strategy that will afford future use of the same structures by affected populations in the event of another disaster,” Said Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Malawi’s Head of Office.  “Additionally, camp coordination & camp management and DTM activities are being rolled out to build the capacity of office bearers on managing camps, support the establishment of district camp management committees and strengthen the Department of Disaster Management Affairs information management system through application of the DTM.”

Site assessments conducted by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams in the four districts with the highest displacements—Zomba, Nsanje, Chikwawa, and Phalombe— from 25 March to 6 April 2019, recorded that 110,110 individuals (24,887 households) have been displaced throughout 103 sites. Almost all displacement sites are collective centers, where populations fled to existing structures such as churches or schools and are sheltering in and around these buildings.  

However, living conditions are quickly deteriorating, due to overcrowding and the lack of access to basic services. 

With agriculture being the main source of livelihood for the rural population in Malawi, the heavy rains and floods have impacted agricultural activities. As fields are inundated, recently planted crops have been destroyed. Some districts are already reporting food insecurity. According to DTM assessments, the primary need for displaced people is food, followed by shelter.  

IOM recognizes that camps are the last resort, and notes that even now populations report the desire to return home. Only the lack of shelter remains their primary barrier.  

IOM is a member of the Shelter/ NFI / CCCM cluster, led by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the Malawi Red Cross. IOM has been the main partner in CCCM activities since the 2015 floods and has worked closely with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) to provide capacity building at national and regional level. 

To ensure a more robust and targeted response by the humanitarian community, IOM will implement its DTM program to provide key information and critical insights into the situation on internally displaced and affected persons in Malawi. Specifically, DTM will provide humanitarian stakeholders with a mapping of displacement sites, demographics of the most affected, mobility tracking as populations move to and from sites towards return and relocation, as well as detailed inter-sectorial information on all assessed sites to support strategic decision making around resource allocation. The DTM products will include maps, dashboards, narrative reports and raw data which will be shared with humanitarian partners on a regular basis.  

Similar data is currently being collected for Mozambique and Zimbabwe, ensuring a regional perspective is integrated in the data analysis, including assessment of cross border needs and linkages in the movements of persons affected by the crisis. 

For further information please contact: Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Malawi Head of Office. Tel: + 2715 534 1314. Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 - 14:23Image: Region-Country: MalawiThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Assists 160 Migrants with Voluntary Humanitarian Return Despite Ongoing Armed Conflict

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 11:10

Tripoli – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) continues to provide Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) assistance to migrants stranded in Libya and wishing to return home, despite the backdrop of continuing armed conflict in in Tripoli and the challenging conditions on the ground. 

Last night (11/04) IOM in Libya organized a charter flight to Mali carrying 160 migrants, with an onward journey to Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.  The 160 migrants on board included a mixture of nationalities including 99 Malians, 51 Ivorians and 10 Burkinabe. Among the returnees were 16 children and 20 women.  

The flight departed from Mitiga airport in Tripoli, arrived in Bamako at midnight. The migrants from Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso are to continue their journey on 12 April. These 160 migrants are among 188 whom IOM assisted just since 5 April, when the current violence surged, returning those individuals home safely from Tripoli to Sierra Leone, Somalia, Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. 

 During most of this past week airport security has been of some concern, with the Mitiga airport operational only between the hours of 19:00 (PM) and 7:00 AM.   

Amid the ongoing clashes, IOM staff in Libya coordinated very closely with Libyan authorities to ensure the safe arrival of all migrants coming from different detention centres and different urban areas in Tripoli to Mitiga airport. The airport was briefly affected by the armed conflict this week.

“We continue to support a safe and dignified return for migrants to their home countries,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “Our teams are working around the clock to provide much needed humanitarian support in Tripoli and across Libya.” 

“I have been in Libya for four years now, but the situation is difficult. I miss my children and my wife, and I think it is time for me to go home to my family. I can already picture their faces when they see me,” said a passenger named Ali before boarding the flight.  

In Mali arriving migrants were received by IOM staff, Malian government representatives and the European Union Delegation in Bamako. IOM coordinated with the Malian authorities, who supported the transit of the charter through Bamako on its way to Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.  

So far this year 3,175 migrants from detention centres and urban settings were able to return home via VHR, with Charters leaving from Benghazi, Sabha, Misrata and Tripoli. 

“Receiving stranded migrants back from Libya, helping them reintegrate in their communities and identifying their specific needs is key,” says Pascal Reyntjens, IOM Chief of Mission in Mali. “This coordinated mechanism including the Malian authorities, the IOM specialists as well as the support to local actors is the way forward for these people to rebuild their future,” he added. 

Prior to their departure, the migrants were provided with medical check-ups, as well as protection screenings and core relief items. Upon arrival, IOM provided them with immediate assistance and medical screenings. IOM will then provide tailored reintegration support to the returnees to assist them re-establish economically within their communities of origin.  
This return was made possible thanks to the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration implemented by IOM. 

For more information, please contact Safa Msehli at IOM Libya +21622241842  and Monika Peruffo at IOM Mali  

Language English Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the 160 Malian migrants, prior to departing from Tripoli. IOM/Moayad Zaghdani 

Some of the 160 Malian migrants, prior to departing from Tripoli. IOM/Moayad Zaghdani 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN